Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Remember I said I should have noticed something was up? The room was full of non English speakers. Most managed to go along with the program, but one young lady was totally baffled. I caught her trying to work on part I while everyone else was working on part II. I told her she had to stick to the one part we were working on and walked away. Then came the break and when I said pencils down, she stopped for a few minutes and then while my back was turned to let kids go to the bathroom, she began working again. I immediately stopped her and I told her what she was doing was cheating. Since she hadn't answered a question, I let it go. Then, while everyone was on part 3, she went to part 4. At that time I had enough, made her stop working and called to have her removed from the room.
After she left, another student said, "Ms, she just got here. She doesn't know any English." I felt awful about yelling at her but I felt worse about the people that sent this young lady to take the exam. How could anyone in their right mind expect a student who knows no English to sit for an exam like the PSAT? I know schools are judged by their numbers but increasing numbers by subjecting a child to hours to torture is just not right.
If a child does not have enough of a command of the English language to understand which parts of an exam to work on, that child should not be taking the exam period. I'm going to find this girl and apologize. And, I will find someone to translate the apology into a language she understands.